Corruption, lies, and emails 258

The number of persons in government agencies known to have lied to protect Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from public knowledge of their wrong-doing, mounts up continually. The full count may never be known.

The very fact they needed to lie is a glaring indication that the cause they supported was a bad one. But if any of them realized this, it apparently didn’t trouble them.

Judicial Watch reports:

Judicial Watch [has] obtained 44 pages of records from the State Department through court-ordered discovery revealing that the Obama White House was tracking a December 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records concerning then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system.

That 2012 request had been made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). They did not get what they asked for.

Months after the Obama White House involvement, the State Department responded … falsely stating that no such records existed.

CREW’s general counsel, Anne Weismann, submitted a FOIA request to the State Department on December 6, 2012, seeking “records sufficient to show the number of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the extent to which those email accounts are identifiable as those of or associated with Secretary Clinton.”

On May 10, 2013, [Information Programs and Services] replied to CREW, stating that “no records responsive to your request were located.”

So Judicial Watch made a court application to obtain the information that CREW had been denied.

Judicial Watch’s discovery is centered upon whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system and whether the State Department acted in bad faith in processing Judicial Watch’s FOIA request for communications from Clinton’s office.

They were lucky that their case came before a nonpartisan judge.

U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as E.W. Priestap [assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division], to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. …

So certain agency records have fallen into the hands of Judicial Watch at last, recording the intention to lie, and proving that lying and evasion were what Obama required. 

They “include a January 2013 email exchange discussing Clinton’s departure from the State Department in which Agency Records Officer Tasha M. Thian specifically stated that Secretary Clinton ‘does not use email’.”

But also include this, directly contradicting that statement:

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General issued a report in January 2016 saying “At the time the [2012] request was received, dozens of senior officials throughout the Department, including members of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff, exchanged emails with the Secretary using the personal accounts she used to conduct official business.” Also, the IG “found evidence that [Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills] was informed of the request at the time it was received …”

On whose orders – in addition to Secretary Clinton’s – were the lies told and the CREW request not complied with?

Several documents answer that question: the Obama White House.

The State Department produced records in response to court-ordered document requests that detail Obama White House involvement in the Clinton email FOIA request [and the refusal to grant it]

In a December 20, 2012, email with the subject line “Need to track down a FOIA request from CREW”, Sheryl L. Walter, director of the State Department’s Office of Information Programs and Services (A/GIS/IPS), writes to IPS officials Rosemary D. Reid and Patrick D. Scholl and their assistants:

WH calledhave we received a FOIA request from CREW (Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington) on the topic of personal use of email by senior officials? Apparently other agencies have. If we have it, can you give me the details so I can call the WH back? I think they’d like it on quick turnaround. Thanks! Sheryl

In the same email chain, Walter on December 20, 2012 also emailed Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s White House liaison, describing the CREW FOIA request:

Hi Heather – Copy attached, it was in our significant weekly FOIA report that we send to L and S/ES also. Do you want us to add you to that list? It’s a subset of things like this that we think likely to be of broader Department interest. More detail below re this request. As a practical matter given our workload, it won’t be processed for some months. Let me know if there are any particular sensitivities. If we don’t talk later, happy holidays! All the best, Sheryl

Sheryl: The request is assigned Case #F-2012-40981. It was received on 12/6/2012 and acknowledged on 12/10/2012. The request is assigned for processing.

On January 10, 2013, Walter writes to Samuelson that she is not including “personal” accounts in the FOIA request search:

Hi Heather – did you ever get any intell re what other agencies are doing re this FOIA request that seeks records about the number of email accounts associated with the Secretary (but isn’t specifying “personal” email accounts so we are interpreting as official accounts only). We are considering contacting the requester to find out exactly what it is they are looking for. Do you have any-concerns about that approach?

Soon afterward, Samuelson responds, “White House Counsel was looking into this for me. I will circle back with them now to see if they have further guidance.” …

The White House counsel found that Clinton had no email accounts.

Which was exactly what Secretary Clinton wanted them to find.

She was very pleased with Heather Samuelson.

Samuelson became Secretary Clinton’s personal lawyer and in 2014 led the review of Clinton’s emails to determine which ones were work-related and which were personal. She was also one of five close Clinton associates granted immunity by the Department of Justice in the Clinton email investigation. …

Further proof that President Obama was involved in the deception – can be said to have presided over it – is found in the sworn testimony of  Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division:

[He] admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically the Executive Office of the President.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch concludes:

“These documents suggest [prove – ed] the Obama White House knew about the Clinton email lies being told to the public at least as early as December 2012,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “A federal court granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton emails because the court wanted answers about a government cover-up of the Clinton emails. And now we have answers because it looks like the Obama White House orchestrated the Clinton email cover-up.”

And Judge Lamberth is taking the matter as seriously as it needs to be taken. He added a comment to his order: “The Clinton email system” he said, was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency”.

It remains to be seen if there will be any consequences for the officials who cheated and lied for Obama and Clinton. To expect that Obama himself will be so much as mildly reproached for “orchestrating” the cover-up, or Clinton punished for breaking the law, is probably, tragically, to expect too much.